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Key SPURA Meeting Takes Place Tonight

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Photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis.

For many months, a task force trying to reach a community-wide consensus on the redevelopment of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) has steadfastly avoided a contentious issue. That issue – how much affordable housing should be built on the parcels (bulldozed in 1967) – will finally be addressed tonight. Members of CB3’s land use committee will take part in what’s sure to be a lively discussion — at University Settlement’s Speyer Hall (184 Eldridge Street), at 630pm.

The conversation will be moderated by John Shapiro and Eva Baron, urban planners hired by the city to help facilitate an agreement. After leading an initial meeting in April, they have been conducting one-on-one interviews with various “stakeholders.”  Now the time has come for the larger group to tackle the most controversial subjects.

The housing preservation group, GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side), is urging supporters to come out in force this evening. In an email message, GOLES organizer Joel Feingold said, “If we want to win what’s right on Delancey, we all need to be there.”

In the past, Lower East Side residents have feuded bitterly about the composition of housing on SPURA — some groups calling for low and middle income apartments — others for market rate development.

During the April meeting, Shapiro allowed members of the general community to speak after all of the members of the task force had their turn.  This is the second of four gatherings he and Baron will be leading this summer and fall.

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